Spotlight on Croatia: The Ultimate Guide to Dubrovnik

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The beautiful UNESCO listed city of Dubrovnik has plenty to offer for its guests. Facing the Adriatic Sea and encircled by huge stone walls, Dubrovnik is one of the most popular destinations to visit in Croatia that you need to experience!

Whether you want to spend your time wandering its well-preserved historic old town, or you want to relax by the beach, Dubrovnik has something for everyone.

I spent a few days of October in Dubrovnik when the crowds weren’t so large and the weather was still warm enough to take a dip in the sea. I would recommend doing the same!

Spotlight on Croatia: The Ultimate Guide to Dubrovnik

What and Where is Dubrovnik?

Dubrovnik is located in the southern part of Croatia. It’s close to the border of Montenegro and Bosnia, making it a great base to explore these nearby regions as well.

What makes the city so unique is that it’s cut off from the rest of Croatia. If you are travelling from the northern regions, you will have to cross the border through Bosnia if you want to explore the area where the city is located.

Its southern location means that Dubrovnik experiences the best of Croatian weather and the rest of Europe! In fact, the Adriatic Sea that surrounds Dubrovnik is often warmer than most European cities.

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Getting to Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is accessible by car, airplane, ferry, bus and even UberBoat!

The best way to visit is by car. It makes for a great adventure to rent a car and drive down the picturesque Croatian coastline. There is a small border you have to cross if arriving from the north of the country but otherwise the drive is stress-free and beautiful.

As for public transportation, there are mini-buses as well as larger coach buses going to and from Dubrovnik all day. Buses leave from most cities in Croatia. You can also grab a minibus from other cities and towns in nearby Bosnia and Montenegro.

There are flights to Dubrovnik from destinations across Europe, try to book in advance if travelling in the summer as they can get expensive due to high demand. Dubrovnik Airport is the third busiest in Croatia. But of course, it does make for quick access to the city if you’re not already in Croatia.

I recommend Skyscanner for the cheapest flights. Remember, be flexible!

Spotlight on Croatia: The Ultimate Guide to Dubrovnik

Top 5 Best Things to Do in Dubrovnik

Take advantage of an extended summer, longer than most other European destinations. You can swim in the Adriatic Sea from May, all the way to October.

With plenty to see and enjoy, you’ll be able to enjoy yourself regardless of the time of year that you visit. Although, I recommend visiting in September or October.

Wander Around the Old Town

It’s simple. The best way to get familiar with a new place is to ditch the map and wander around, and there’s no place better than Dubrovnik’s Old Town. This way you can explore on your own and get a feel for the area.

Dubrovnik’s Old Town is well-preserved and there is something new and exciting to check out around every corner. Like this epic view, above the most picturesque basketball court in Europe!

Spotlight on Croatia: The Ultimate Guide to Dubrovnik

Off-white stones make up much of the Old Town area. This not only helps to make it even more Instagram-friendly, but the light colours help to keep temperatures low in the city centre during the peak of the summer.

There are a handful of different palaces that you can explore. You can also escape the heat and crowds in a variety of different museums and churches.

When you are ready to refuel, you can make your way to Placa Street. Known as “Stradun”, this is the main pedestrian street in Dubrovnik. It runs more than 300 meters through the heart of the Old Town. Along this main street you’ll find plenty of small shops, restaurants, and cafes. Grab a seat anywhere you like and relax while watching the world go by!

Take the time to explore everywhere that you can find – you’re bound to fall in love with this beautiful walled city!

Spotlight on Croatia: The Ultimate Guide to Dubrovnik

Climb the City Walls and Enter Fort Lovrijenac

You see those tall walls that surround you? Yes, you can climb then and encircle the entire Old Town and get some of the best views of the city in the process.

Beware of peak season when the city walls can become extremely crowded. Try to get up early to enjoy it, while at the same time saving yourself from the midday heat.

Bring sunscreen, your camera, and lots of water.

Spotlight on Croatia: The Ultimate Guide to Dubrovnik

From the top, you will be rewarded with sweeping panoramic views of the Old Town and Dubrovnik’s harbor. You are unlikely to find better views anywhere else in the city without climbing to the top of Mount Srd!

The loop of the city walls is about 2 km in length. During the day it can get busy and could take you one to two hours to complete, especially if you’re stopping for photos.

As for the cost, admission during the summer is 150 Croatian Kuna, or about $25 USD. This includes entrance to the city walls as well as Fort Lovrijenac.

Fort Lovrijenac offers epic views of the Adriatic Sea and the city walls. In fact, I enjoyed this more than the city walls! It was more peaceful and offered plenty of space to take photos and enjoy the view without hordes of tourists in the way.

Spotlight on Croatia: The Ultimate Guide to Dubrovnik

Go For a Swim Or Kayaking!

What I love about Dubrovnik is that you’re never too far from being able to hop into the water for a swim, or even go kayaking.

In the city, you can choose to swim from the city walls or head to one of the accessible beaches nearby.

Outside of the Ploce Gate is where you’ll find the closest “natural” beach. It’s an easy walk from the old town. There are a lot of cafes and restaurants nearby so you don’t need to bring much with you.

If you have a car, or you don’t mind a longer walk, there are countless beaches a few kilometres outside of the city. These are going to be quieter and secluded. You’ll have a more private experience than what you would find closer to the Old Town.

If you don’t feel like walking too far you can head down to the harbor and jump into the water right from the city walls. There are ladders making it easy to get in and out of the water. During the warmer summer months you’ll see plenty of people swimming and lounging here. Don’t hesitate to drop your towel and hop in to cool off!

Spotlight on Croatia: The Ultimate Guide to Dubrovnik

Take a Game of Thrones Tour

Any Game of Thrones fans should know by now that King’s Landing, or “Dubrovnik” as the locals like to call it, is one of the main filming locations used in the television series.

There are various filming locations throughout the Old Town that you can access on your own. However, you can also take a Game of Thrones guided walking tour.

This tour will bring you to the different filming locations and provide you with background information. The guides are knowledgeable and well-versed in the Game of Thrones lore.

Spotlight on Croatia: The Ultimate Guide to Dubrovnik

Some of the tours even come with a boat cruise. You’ll be able to immerse yourself into the Game of Thrones world while you’re exploring Dubrovnik.

If you don’t feel like shelling out for a tour, you can always find the filming locations on your own. Head on to Google and download your own filming location map. Most of them are publicly accessible and free, so you can head there on your own and explore without a guide.

Head to the Top of Mount Srd

Behind the city walls in Dubrovnik, you’ll notice a low mountain. This is Mount Srd.

From the top of Mount Srd you can enjoy jaw-dropping panoramic views of the city down below and the surrounding harbor. On a clear day you can see up to 60 km away!

You have a few different options if you want to get to the top. The best way to get to the top of Mount Srd is by taking the famous Dubrovnik cable car. This cable car was built back in 1969 and you can enjoy incredible views all the way up to the top.

If you’d rather get some fresh air and you can hike up to the top of Mount Srd. It’s an easy hike with plenty of opportunities to stop and photograph your surroundings.

During the peak of the summer season I would recommend taking the cable car. It can get hot during the day and you don’t want to get stuck dehydrated on the side of the mountain.

Try making your way up later in the day if you have the time. The sunset from the top is incredible. It’s something you don’t want to miss when you’re visiting Dubrovnik!

That’s it! I really hope you enjoy your stay in Dubrovnik as much as I did. I would recommend staying in an Airbnb within the city walls so that you are steps away from everything while getting a good deal. If you are not already a member, you can get £25 free credit when you sign up with my link.

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Dave Weatherall

Dave Weatherall

On the road since 2014. Living and working from 40+ countries, mostly in Asia. Blogging, building websites, and marketing management. My mission is to show other people, like me, the possibilities of an alternative lifestyle outside of the typical 9-5.

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